The benefits of health and safety at work are compelling and yet across the world 2.3m lose their lives every year because of work-related accidents or illness. On top of this, millions more are left in poor health, in pain or incapacitated by workplace injuries.
The need to improve safety and health in workplaces worldwide is urgent and we need to begin to address the problem by improving things right here in Great Britain. Don’t think for one second this problem is simply an overseas issue.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 111 people suffered fatal workplace injuries in Great Britain in 2019-2020. The fatalities were caused by falls from heights, by workers being run over by vehicles, hit by moving objects, crushed or coming into contact with moving machinery. You cannot fail to hear those categories and consider how many of those fatalities could have been prevented? How many of those people could still be with their families and friends today?
When you look at the fatalities in more detail it emerges that they are not confined to a particular industry. Perhaps, due to the nature of the work, it is unsurprising that the most fatalities were in the Construction industry but there were also deaths in Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing, Manufacturing, Transportation & Storage, Wholesale, Retail, Motor Repair, Accommodation & Food, Waste & Recycling and Administrative & Support Services. No industry should consider itself safe from workplace fatalities – the range of these categories shows all too clearly why health and safety at work is everyone’s responsibility.
In a bid to improve health and safety in the workplace the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has embarked on a five-year strategy called Work 2022.
IOSH is a leading organisation in the occupational safety and health profession, a respected partner in business and management and a respected organisation with global reach.
Its action plan, which is due to be completed next year, has been pushing for faster, long-lasting progress in the safety, health and wellbeing of working people worldwide. However, even with its global standing, the IOSH was the first to state it would not be able to achieve this objective alone.
It said Work 2022 would be underpinned by three broad aims – Enhance, Collaborate and Influence. It has set out to enhance the occupational safety and health profession by developing competence, capability and skills; consolidating its central role to the success of organisations and promoting positive public perceptions of health and safety. It is collaborating to forge mutually beneficial relationship with like-minded organisations, to deliver practical and valuable outcomes for businesses to succeed and to support a shared vision of a safe and healthy world of work. Finally, it is seeking to use its influence to empower health and safety professionals and businesses around the world, to work with them to address local health and safety issues and to enable worldwide sharing of knowledge and learning.
This five-year strategy is due to come to an end next year so what can we all do to help make IOSH’s vision a reality?
Well, as we mentioned earlier, we all need to recognise that we are all responsible for health and safety at our workplaces and that all of us – no matter what industry we are in – should have health and safety at the heart of our operations.
As one of the UK’s leading health and safety consultancy, at Acorn Safety Services we’re passionate about promoting the importance of undertaking effective health and safety measures within the workplace. Our constant endeavour is to help individuals, schools, businesses, organisations and local authorities practice health and safety management, to protect people from harm. We work hard to ensure all our Health, Safety and Construction, Design & Management (CDM) services are fully certified. We hold all the professional memberships required to provide our clients with all the reassurance they need about the quality, standards and expertise of our company.
Our clients don’t need to be experts in health and safety. They don’t need to get bogged down in reams of health and safety regulations. All they need to do is to care about the health and safety of their employees and then sit back and get on with running their business whilst we take care of their health and safety needs for them.
By working together, we can make a difference that can save lives and make our workplaces the best they can be.